Who we are & why we are

Welcome to the gallery site of Broken Light Collective. We are artists of all levels and abilities who are affected by mental illness. We create and we share our work for the therapeutic benefits to us, as well as others who may be struggling and feeling scared and alone. Together we can move from disconnected to collective.

Please welcome first-time contributor BaJa, a 42-year-old history teacher in a public secondary school. BaJa has recently been diagnosed with anxiety and depression after struggling with low self-esteem for over 25 years. She is afraid that she is going to lose the few people in her life now that she has officially been diagnosed. BaJa is scared to open up to even the people closest to her. She has reached a point in her life when she wants to open up, but doesn’t know how. That is why she sought out help, in the hope she can learn to open up and calm the storm that roars constantly in her head.

About this photo: This picture was taken by a friend: she wanted to photograph me at a party we were attending. I didn’t want the picture to be taken, so I put my hands in front of the camera: I already felt really uncomfortable at the party without my picture being taken. Seeing pictures of myself makes me feel anxious, because I can only see the things that I don’t like about myself, even when people point out good things they see. It shows my inability to like myself and see good things in myself in any way. The picture shows also how I still try to keep my thoughts and fears to myself and don’t share them with the people close to me by literally blocking them out. It makes me very sad to look at this picture because it shows how I make my own nightmare happen.


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4 responses to “Hands”

  1. Nezel Yurong Avatar

    That is a sad story Baja. I am also forty-two now and had suffered depression once in my life too. Low self-esteem had led me to make wrong choices. Thankfully, my faith in God helped me to straighten things up in my messy life. Now, I am on my way to healing. My blog tackles bits and pieces of what I had been through and how I managed to pull through.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Martha Hellander Avatar
    Martha Hellander

    Nice photo! For me, the hands, instead, could represent a safe boundary to protect a vulnerability, visible in one’s face, from being publicly captured and shared with strangers online without the subject’s consent. That could be a healthy action in response to an unwelcome (and perhaps unwitting) intrusion by someone who failed to ask or respect a gesture from one declining to be photographed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. karen Avatar

    I like how this photograph portrays your ambivalence about making contact– yes, you are hiding your face, but you are showing us the photograph! yay! The shame and wish to hide in depression are awful. A friend of mine calls shame “a toxic gas.” It is all of our work to change this, to help us all to love ourselves without being some impossible perfect self.


  4. yudithc Avatar

    That’s an amazing photograph and although Baja is unwilling to be photographed, she has somehow reached out with her hands, even though it is to say ‘Stop’. Hope those open palms will receive the help she needs to a wonderful journey ahead. To you Baja and to your life. Cheers! God bless you.


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